Shelterbelt Builders
Case Studies

Design & Planning
Colma Creek Restoration Plan
Invasive Plant Management Plan
Cape Ivy Containment & Removal
Community-based Restoration Support
Habitat Conservation Plan Implementation
Happy Valley Creek Restoration
Inspiration Point Grassland Restoration
Lake Merced Coastal Lagoon Stewardship
Wildfire Prevention
Tilden Experimental Fuelbreak Project
Vicente Canyon Hillside Foundation Stewardship
Native Plant Landscaping
Mt. Sutro Native Plant Garden
Private Hillside Trail Construction & Native Plant Garden
Lawn Replacement with Native Plant Garden


Vicente Canyon Hillside Foundation Stewardship

CLIENT: Vicente Canyon Hillside Foundation

The Vicente Canyon Hillside Foundation owns and manages 2.5 acres of dedicated open space in the Berkeley Hills bordered by 16 houses. By charter, the land is to be managed “as a fire safety demonstration zone, for the restoration of native plants and animals, for compatible recreation, and for the enjoyment of scenic beauty.” This property burned in the 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm and has been managed as a “500-foot buffer zone” since then.

The Vicente Canyon Hillside now has only moderate fire danger because of its well maintained native flora.

Shelterbelt has managed this land year-round for nearly a decade. We maintain wildfire-safety standards, encourage native plants and wildlife, steward trails and lead informative tours. French broom has been managed to near eradication. Native plants are allowed to seed and usually not cut until fire season. Coastal scrub is maintained in small islands to prevent a total successional shift to shrubland. Grasslands are managed to encourage native perennials. Oaks are respectfully pruned when necessary. The result of our stewardship represents an alternative to fuelbreak-style fire management in urban areas. The Vicente property contains not a single fuelbreak yet the entire property represents moderate fire danger and contains a high diversity of native plants and wildlife.

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